Application of Best Linear Unbiased Predictor (BLUP) in Estimating Breeding Value for Rabbit Bucks Raised in Humid Tropics
Best Linear Unbiased Predictor (BLUP) procedures to estimate the breeding value of bucks among three rabbit breeds namely; Chinchilla (CHI), Dutch (DUT) and New Zealand White (NZW) were systematic followed for the selection of sire breed. Records of 604 kits produced through nested (hierarchical) design of 9 sires mated to 27 dams over a period of three parities were used in the estimation of heritability for kits weight at weaning (KWW) and computation of Least Squares Equation (LSE) and Mixed Model Methodologies (MMM). CHI had significantly (P<0.05) highest kit weight at weaning (KWW) when compared to the other two breeds, DUT and NZW. Coefficient of variation for KWW was generally low (4.00% to 19.73%). Heritability from sire components (h2s) for pre-weaning body weights were moderate to high. As economic trait (Yi), heritability value (0.64±0.26) for KWW were used to compute LSE and MMM accordingly. The predicted breeding values/ranking of individual sire (Ŝ), using LSE and MMM showed Ŝ3> Ŝ4> Ŝ2> Ŝ5> Ŝ6> Ŝ1 and Ŝ3>Ŝ4> Ŝ6> Ŝ5> Ŝ2 >Ŝ1 respectively. This study therefore presents the theory of BLUP and its practical applications in sire evaluation for rabbit bucks raised in humid tropics.
Keywords: Rabbit, BLUP, Heritability, Mixed Model Methodology, Breeding Value
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